Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, when the Catholic Church recalls the day on which Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus, to the temple “to present him to the Lord,” in accordance with the scripture that “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord.”
The Gospel reading for today’s Mass contains Luke’s account of the event. We are told that when Mary and Joseph arrive at the temple with Jesus, they are met by Simeon, a “righteous and devout” man, to whom it had been revealed “by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.”
When Simeon sees Jesus, he takes the child in his arms and prays, “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation.”
I almost tingle every time I hear this scripture proclaimed. I can feel the joy and the peace Simeon felt when he beheld Jesus. The sense that everything else is now bearable because of the presence of the Lord. That nothing else is necessary for life to be complete.
Simeon waited his entire life to see Jesus. But what Simeon experiences, the joy and peace that come with recognition of the presence of God, is not unique to him. Jesus is ours to behold each day of our lives. In the Eucharist and in each other.
Unlike Simeon, who waited for years to behold Jesus, for us each day is the Presentation of the Lord. The salvation Simeon beheld is always right there before our eyes.